After eight years of blogging (and a solid couple years of book writing), last week I watched in utter disbelief as my profanity-laced, progressive-Christian, anti-establishment, niche-as-fuck, spiritual memoir became a #1 Best Seller in Christian Theology and spiked at #65 out of all the books on Amazon. ALL THE BOOKS! Naturally, when The Very Worst Missionary: A Memoir or Whatever snuck its way into the ranks of Top 100 books of the biggest book retailer in the history of the planet, I bawled my face off. I just couldn’t believe it…like, it made no sense.
I just kept shaking my head, wondering how the hell did this happen???
…Ok, ok. It’s easy for me to pretend that I have no idea, but the truth is: 1) I think God has something to do with it, and 2) I have worked really hard and I’ve spent a lot of time and creative energy cultivating this blog and writing this book. I poured my heart and soul into both, over the years, and though I admit that becoming a published writer was not my lifelong dream, I now understand the deep sense of satisfaction an author feels at holding their own words in print. It’s legitimately surreal.
Since I’ve walked through the weird process of going from blogger to booker, people often ask me how I did it, and the answer is… I had help.
Like, great help — Amazing, smart, practical, brilliant, experienced, knowledgeable help, and I can’t imagine having taken this journey without it.
Who helped me? I’M SO GLAD YOU ASKED!!!
Mostly, it was my literary agent, Rachelle Gardner.
Rachelle’s input and advice was a total game changer for me. When I started to get inquiries from publishers about a potential book, I had no clue what to tell them. I didn’t know how to even begin writing a book proposal, what to include in a book proposal, or how to best shop a book proposal. I didn’t know which publishers I was best suited to work with as a writer, or what I was worth as an author. But Rachelle did. With Rachelle’s help I was able to narrow down what kind of book I should write, how to maximize my book proposal (for $$$!), who to get said proposal in front of, and how to get it there. Looking back, I know I couldn’t (and wouldn’t) have done it without her.
So, how can Rachelle help you? OMG, ANOTHER GREAT QUESTION!!!
Rachelle now has a course for writers who are ready to embark on the journey from Pen to Published — and I cannot recommend it highly enough. I seriously can’t tell you how badly I wish I’d learned all of the stuff she’s going to cover in 8 weeks instead of the 8 years I spent trying to figure it out on my own. To be clear, I’ve been working with Rachelle for a long time now and I happily call her a friend, but she did not walk me through this process simply out of the kindness of her heart. As my agent, I pay her for her services and, I swear, I’ve never been happier to give anyone my money in my entire life. It’s just so worth it for so many reasons.
Good luck and God speed on your writing journey!